Toyota Rav4 EV Forum

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 Post subject: buy a used RAV4 EV or wait?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:20 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:05 am
Posts: 4
Greetings...
I'm looking to get an electric SUV to upgrade my LA commute (40mi round trip), from my current 04 Prius. I love Toyotas but read an article about Volvo's XC40 coming out w/an all electric option later this year, so now I'm torn. Do I go with something affordable and reliable right now, or wait to lease the new tech. OR wait till the Volvo comes out to buy a RAV4 EV used??

Would love to hear from long-time EV drivers on here. Anyone have an insane amount of miles and still happy? My Prius is at 280k and still going strong, just wondering if this cars similar.


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 Post subject: Re: buy a used RAV4 EV or wait?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:13 pm
Posts: 1777
Location: Los Altos, CA
bishida wrote:
Greetings...
I'm looking to get an electric SUV to upgrade my LA commute (40mi round trip), from my current 04 Prius. I love Toyotas but read an article about Volvo's XC40 coming out w/an all electric option later this year, so now I'm torn. Do I go with something affordable and reliable right now, or wait to lease the new tech. OR wait till the Volvo comes out to buy a RAV4 EV used??

Would love to hear from long-time EV drivers on here. Anyone have an insane amount of miles and still happy? My Prius is at 280k and still going strong, just wondering if this cars similar.

I am an original owner of a 2012 RAV4 EV. I have not had any significant failures in my car but I did have the drive motor replaced under the factory warranty because it was getting noisy. However, you should know that statistically the RAV4 EV is not as reliable as a Prius. There are a couple of things like the electric cabin heater that have a failure rate much higher than normal for major automotive parts. For this reason, I purchased the Toyota Platinum extended warranty. I currently have just under 60,000 miles on my car and the warranty is good until 8 years and 100,000 miles. If you need the peace of mind that you won't hit a major repair expense, then you should buy one with a Toyota Platinum warranty, either transferable from the previous owner or purchased with the car. Do not buy a third party warranty, only the Toyota Platinum one.

One thing you should know is that the RAV4 EV prices have stabilized, partly because there is an export market for them in countries like Norway and Jordan that have significant incentives for operating EVs.

Also, there will be many more SUV style EVs coming out soon. Not only the XC-40 EV but the Kia Niro EV, Hyundai Kona EV, Audi e-Tron, Mercedes EQ-C, and of course, the Jaguar iPace is already available. However, comparing a new car to a used car like the RAV4 EV is not really a good comparison because many of the cars I listed will be much more expensive than a used RAV4 EV. Also, some of the more affordable choices in my list are smaller than the RAV4 EV and have more limited cargo space. Coming from a Prius, if you think the XC-40 EV will be in your price range, you should test drive a Tesla Model 3. By the time the XC-40 is available, the standard range Model 3 should also be available.

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2012 Shoreline Blue #1462 w/JdeMO | 2018 Tesla Model 3 LR | 4.32kW Motech/Enphase PV Solar + 2x Powerwall 2 AC| Leviton EVB40 40A & Jesla Home Charging | 2015 e-Golf LE (returned)


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 Post subject: Re: buy a used RAV4 EV or wait?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 4:49 am
Posts: 619
Location: Ithaca, NY
I love the car! So much so that my wife and I both have one. They have both been extremely reliable. Great car with lots of room inside.

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2014 Rav EV #3364
2012 Plug in Prius

OpenEVSE builds
priuschat.com/threads/my-openevse-build.115573/#post-1647089
Dual voltage, portable 40amp Openevse
myrav4ev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1013&start=120


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 Post subject: Re: buy a used RAV4 EV or wait?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:51 pm
Posts: 621
I would buy something else. Poor support and very high cost of repairs if something does happen.
Traded mine for an I-Pace end of 2018 and could not be happier. Heater had quit and trans was starting to make noise again. Range was marginal for my needs.
Battery capacity did hold up very well.


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 Post subject: Re: buy a used RAV4 EV or wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:54 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:05 am
Posts: 4
Thanks for giving me something to chew on! Do the ppl on here still w/an EV think they’ll run the car into the ground? Or just get tired of replacing he heating unit (what’s the cost?)?


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 Post subject: Re: buy a used RAV4 EV or wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:14 am
Posts: 38
I'm keeping mine and running it into the ground. Currently at 90K mileage.

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Jonathan (San Diego)
'13 Silver RAV4 EV #2178
(Aftermarket Leather Seats)
'11 Leaf SV (retired)


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 Post subject: Re: buy a used RAV4 EV or wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:50 pm
Posts: 4065
Location: San Diego
For commuting, I would get a Nissan LEAF.

They are cheap and reliable.

If you need the car for more than transporting yourself from point A to B, then perhaps consider what the RAV4 EV has to offer.

The LEAF can be purchased far cheaper than any RAV4 EV.

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 Post subject: Re: buy a used RAV4 EV or wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:13 pm
Posts: 1777
Location: Los Altos, CA
bishida wrote:
Thanks for giving me something to chew on! Do the ppl on here still w/an EV think they’ll run the car into the ground? Or just get tired of replacing he heating unit (what’s the cost?)?

In the past, I have typically kept my ICE cars 10-13 years. I will probably do the same with the RAV and the Model 3. Before the Model 3 we had a 2015 e-Golf on 3 year lease. That is the first time I've ever leased a car. It was a short term hold-over because our previous ICE car was at 130k and the repair expenses were going to exceed the lease cost of the e-Golf. At the time there was no other EV that I thought was worth buying for the long term.

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2012 Shoreline Blue #1462 w/JdeMO | 2018 Tesla Model 3 LR | 4.32kW Motech/Enphase PV Solar + 2x Powerwall 2 AC| Leviton EVB40 40A & Jesla Home Charging | 2015 e-Golf LE (returned)


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 Post subject: Re: buy a used RAV4 EV or wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:51 pm
Posts: 621
bishida wrote:
Or just get tired of replacing he heating unit (what’s the cost?)?
Through Toyota I believe the heater module is close to $3,000.
QuickChargePower says $2,500. https://shop.quickchargepower.com/SERVICE-Toyota-RAV4-EV-2012-2014-REPAIR-CABIN-HEATER-RAV4HTRREPAIR.htm

Many reports of heater failure also takes out the DC-DC converter and could double the price. My converter survived and so I could drive the car for the last 18 months before trading it in.

Any drive unit issues repaired through Toyota require a full replacement at close to $13,000. Mine was replaced once under warranty but after another 30,000 miles was starting to make noise again.
Drive unit bearings can also be replaced by QCP for $3,000.

Also my gateway computer failed under warranty. It was over 6 months to diagnose with intermittent trouble. Complete failure still required another 4 tows to the dealer before it was replaced under warranty. Cost would have been close to $4,000.

The car itself is great when it runs. Plenty of reports of vehicles with zero issues.


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 Post subject: Re: buy a used RAV4 EV or wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:30 pm
Posts: 275
Location: San Diego Co
I'll keep mine and run it into the ground. I'm sure when my 8yr 125k warranty expires repair parts will be available used. Also, parts will be refurbished or easier to repair I believe. The motor swap is a $15k expense at the dealer, but a real mechanic can replace the bearings and seals for a faction of that. Quick Charge Power offers a bearing replacement for $3k at their shop in San Marcos (?). The DC-DC is typically a blown diode. The onboard charger, an internal fuse. Even the battery is usually a contactor failure.

I've not yet had to replace the heater and I hear it can be $4k. But I also hear one from a Nissan will fit / work too.

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